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Machado hosts 2nd BaseBOWL Tournament

O's third baseman raises money for children of Baltimore
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Jaden Williams is a student at Mount Royal Elementary Middle School in Baltimore City who pitches and plays first base. On Monday afternoon, the 13-year-old obtained pitching advice from an unusual source: Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter.

In fact, Williams even got some tips from Hunter on another sport -- bowling. That's because both were together on Monday at the second annual Manny Machado BaseBOWL Tournament at Mustang Alley's Bar, Bowling and Bistro.

BALTIMORE -- Jaden Williams is a student at Mount Royal Elementary Middle School in Baltimore City who pitches and plays first base. On Monday afternoon, the 13-year-old obtained pitching advice from an unusual source: Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter.

In fact, Williams even got some tips from Hunter on another sport -- bowling. That's because both were together on Monday at the second annual Manny Machado BaseBOWL Tournament at Mustang Alley's Bar, Bowling and Bistro.

Hunter talked to Williams about bowling and eventually discussed the subject of pitching. Williams said Hunter gave him some advice he could use.

"He told me to throw it right in the middle of the box and throw strikes," Williams said. "Try to put it right in the box."

Last year the event brought in over $80,000 in support of the Baltimore City Recreation Department's eight-week "Play Baseball" campaign via the Baltimore City Foundation. The initiative benefited 300 children, ages 9-12, by supplying baseball equipment, uniforms, transportation and field refurbishment to play baseball throughout the summer at Baltimore City Recreation and Parks centers.

In addition, the Orioles will donate $10,000 to Baltimore City Recreation and Parks as well as hosting participating children at at upcoming home game through the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience Program. Members get game tickets, concessions, an Orioles T-shirt and cap as well as transportation to and from the contest. There also was a silent auction with all kinds of sports memorabilia.

It was a positive event following recent problems and unrest in Baltimore, something Machado touched on when talking about it.

"It's awesome and something that, especially with this community, we needed right now in Baltimore," Machado said. "It's always good to help out kids and go out there and raise some money for them so they can get back out there and play baseball."

A number of Orioles showed up at the sold-out event. Hunter, Miguel Gonzalez, Delmon Young, plus a host of others. Cal Ripken Jr. also came by and bowled.

The Orioles start a three-game series with the Mariners on Tuesday, and former Baltimore slugger Nelson Cruz stopped by and gave Machado a big bear hug when they both met.

"It's important always to supports friends," Cruz said. "I think it's a great event. Anything I can do to help [I will]."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter enjoyed the fact that Machado's teammates -- and even former ones like Cruz -- came out and that they understand the importance of events like this.

"I think our players understand how good the city and MLB has been to them, and the good Lord's blessed them with a lot of talents, but every opportunity you can impact somebody else's life, it's a small thing to ask," Showalter said. "I think with great gifts come great responsibility, as someone once said, and I think our guys understand that."

And children like Williams appreciate it.

"It was fun," he said.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado